We had the good fortune of connecting with In My Black Opinion and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi In My Black Opinion, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
We actually stumbled on the idea when talking one day and both shared that we had an interest in doing a podcast. So, we sat down and talked about what we felt we could bring to the podcasting world and what was important to us. We knew we wanted it to be very Black, very informative, but also very entertaining. During the brainstorming stage, we talked about our experiences as Black men and thought it would be interesting to share our perspectives on various topics because, although they are similar to the experiences of others, they are also unique and the way we present them is unique. We understand the importance of representation and inclusivity and feel it important that Black stories come from Black voices. We wanted to highlight things we find interesting in pop culture, shed some light on various areas of Black excellence, talk about mental health in our community, and just bring laughter and light to this world.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Chavaya: Most of my professional career has been spent in banking and customer service. I honestly sort of just fell into that space after undergrad and have remained there throughout my career. It has not been an easy road as I’ve seen several shifts in my career through the years, some in my control while others were not. The primary way I’ve overcome the struggles is through prayer, meditation, journaling, and just venting to my friends and family. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to remain true to myself. There is so much of this world that wants nothing more than to shape you into who it wants you to be, but it is truly up to you to write your own story. If they get nothing else from me, I’d want people to hear that, internalize it, then live it. Right now, I’m most proud of myself just for pressing forward and finding the light in myself in spite of outside forces telling me to do otherwise.
Bryant: Aside from co-hosting In My Black Opinion, I am also a photographer and influencer. I am the most excited when I’m able to create as it’s something that I’ve loved as a child. I started my photography business back in the Fall of 2012 and after graduating from college with a degree in Mathematics, I decided to go full-time with my business. In an effort to scale my business, I began blogging. That transitioned into me sharing personal and style content and was the catalyst behind my career as an influencer. I can admit, it was a bit difficult to navigate growing my business and I soon found that as a solo business owner, you wear many hats. My commitment to my craft as well as my clients is what motivated me to continue.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We don’t live in LA, but here in North Carolina, there are a number of things that we do with our friend groups. Locally, we visit the Black-owned Perkins Orchard and pick up some fresh fruit and popsicles when it’s hot outside. We also are foodies so we are constantly discovering new restaurants to try like Favor Desserts, Mi Rancho, Oak City Fish and Chips, and the almighty Cook Out. Also, we’re creatives, so we like to visit places like the museums, pick up some materials from Michael’s for crafting, and maybe just slide through the movies. On days where we feel like driving, we’ll take a day trip to a nearby beach or visit the mountains. We’re generally pretty chill though so on an average day you can catch us at the house binge-watching whatever new show has dropped. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So prior to us starting the podcast, we had some experience through a panel-styled talk show called LightzOutRadio. Now, don’t go looking for it, but it was a great experience! We want to shout out our friends, David, Keisha, Kia, and Lisa for helping us set the foundation for what has become In My Black Opinion!